Splash Damage, the renowned game development studio responsible for titles like Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Gears Tactics, has announced a major change in their work structure. The studio’s London office will now operate on a four-day work week. This decision was influenced by the success of a subsidiary of Splash Damage, which made the switch in 2022. In a tweet, the studio shared the news, stating that they are “changing the way we work” and embracing a shorter work week at their London office. It is important to note that this change does not apply to the “hybrid” workers employed by Splash Damage.
Following in the Footsteps of Bulkhead
Another UK studio affiliated with Splash Damage, Bulkhead, known for developing Battalion 1944, embarked on a six-month trial of a four-day work week in February 2022. This trial was deemed successful, prompting Splash Damage to consider implementing the same approach. At the time, Bulkhead had a team of over 100 developers. Currently, Bulkhead is collaborating with Splash Damage on the highly anticipated game Transformers: Reactivate.
A Growing Trend in the Gaming Industry
Splash Damage is not alone in its decision to adopt a four-day work week. In recent years, several other game studios, including Blackbird Interactive, the developers of Homeworld 3, and Eidos Montreal, the creators of Guardians Of The Galaxy, have made the transition. This shift is often seen as an effort to improve the work-life balance within the demanding field of game development. Additionally, it serves as a strategy to attract and retain talented employees in a competitive market.
A Diverse Portfolio and Acquisitions
Splash Damage initially gained recognition through collaborations with Id Software on games like Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. Subsequently, they developed original titles such as Brink and Dirty Bomb, as well as licensed properties like Gears Of War 4. In 2016, the studio was acquired by Chinese holding company Leyou, and later by Tencent in 2020. While Splash Damage is primarily known for its first-person shooters, their turn-based strategy game Gears Tactics, released in 2020, received critical acclaim.
By embracing a four-day work week, Splash Damage aims to create a more balanced and productive work environment for its employees. The decision is part of a larger industry trend, with other game studios recognizing the benefits of reduced working hours. As Splash Damage continues to evolve and expand its diverse portfolio, this change is expected to positively impact both the studio and its employees.